Concrete and Gold Album Review
So, we are breaking some rules dear readers. This album can be heard on the radio AND it has been out a while, BUT there is no better time to discuss Concrete and Gold than before the Foo Fighters come through Houston. On a whole, the group’s latest album has been well received by the public with tracks pulling from styles seen from the band in albums past, and tracks boasting of something new. This reviewer feels that the album has a solid place within the group’s expansive nine album discography. Want to know why? Of course you do. We have a track by track below.
Opening up with “T-Shirt,” the group builds on what starts as a simple singer-songwriter track into a complex narrative full instrumental accompaniment. This teaser builds anticipation and energy for what’s to come.
“Run,” one of the group’s first singles from this album, delivers a substantial punch that fans who have followed the band since their early days have been waiting for. With raw vocals and a catchy hook, the track offers a bit of the group’s classic style a la The Coulour and the Shape. Raw vocals are accented by sound overlays creating something new that still feels like a classic.
The third track, “Make it Right,” is a bit on the catchy, commercial side of this album with some rhythmic and harmonious accents to the ever-popular surf-rock trend permeating the music scene right now. This new style is executed flawlessly, with the song circling back to the chaotic guitar and tight drum loops that fans have come to know and love.
The track with the largest commercial success that the Foo Fighters have seen since, “The Pretender,” shows off how the Foo Fighters manage to still fit into the top 40 rock scene while holding on to their own musical identity. “The Sky is a Neighborhood,” is layered, catchy, and still holds enough intrigue to hold listeners’ attention. A well-placed musical interlude mid song keeps the track from feeling redundant or over produced. The almost blues-rock style introduction helps make “The Sky is a Neighborhood,” sound fresh. This hit track will continue to see endless radio play until your ears bleed listening to it, but as a listener, I’m not upset about that.
Moving forward “La Dee Da,” leaves a bit to be desired. Remember that redundant thing I mentioned earlier? This song misses the mark because of the repetitive nature of its structure. The generous guitar interlude mid song keeps the whole track afloat, although a nice shout or two in the chorus keeps listeners awake. On a whole this track feels like an attempt at industrial rock that falls just a hair short of success.
The sweet gospel lyricism and angelic harmonics of, “Dirty Water,” makes for a lovely break in the album. There is a notable southern influence to several songs on this album, this track included. Saccharine sub-pop sounds build into a heavier track that delivers characteristic distorted guitar layers Foo Fighters fans have come to know and love.
“Arrows,” feels a bit redundant but exemplifies the characteristics typically found in Foo Fighters tracks with heavy guitar, thick drum beats and a cyclical build. Honestly, this track could be found on any other album put out by the band. As much as we enjoy the group, this particular song is nothing to write home about with over-recycled lyrics and a lack of any particularly compelling musical element.
The southern rock influences on the album culminate in the track, “Happy Ever After (Zero Hour).” This vocal heavy track with is layered with guitar picking giving it an almost Michael McDonald Doobie Brothers sound. This directional shift meshes well on some tracks, and “Happily Ever After,” is not one of them. Lighter than normal musical accompaniment leads to vocals sounding tired and lacking range, which produces a flat track lacking depth.
Stacked with funky guitar riffs and head-nodding beats, “Sunday Rain,” makes up for everything, “Happy Ever After,” lacks. In Foo Fighters fashion, the layers in this song build, but the track certainly exhibits a fully fleshed out concept that is expertly executed. This is unquestionably one of the best tracks on the album and answers any questions one might have about what the album is really about.
“The Line,” proves to be another example of a track that could be found on any of the group’s previous records. With a familiar style and lack of variation, this song is one to look over.
Wrapping up the album, “Concrete and Gold,” is a slow, heavy piece that seems to slow down listeners to a point of stopping. This track reflects an industrial sounding layering that has an eerie sound fusion I’d imagine would come out of Pink Floyd. That is until the last few moments of the track that includes a charming, “Fuck you Darryl!” Could I see an epic light show accompanying this track? Yes, yes I could.
TL;DR? This album feels like traditional Foo Fighters with attempts of restyling through southern rock and industrial sounds. This attempt succeeds on tracks like, “Sunday Rain,” and, “Dirty Water.” A few tracks like, “ Happy Ever After (Zero Hour),” and, “La Dee Da,” fall short of the rest of the album. If I rated with numbers, which I supposed I’m now doing, I’d give the album a 6.5/10. Be sure to check out the band while they’re in town this Thursday!